Applied Materials Inc, a leading semiconductor toolmaker, has unveiled plans to establish a research center in Sunnyvale, California, with an investment of up to $4 billion. The primary goal of this center, known as the Equipment and Process Innovation and Commercialization (EPIC) Center, is to expedite advancements in semiconductor manufacturing. The facility, which is slated to commence operations in 2026, is anticipated to generate around 2,000 engineering jobs.

Over the course of its first ten years, the EPIC Center aims to facilitate research projects worth approximately $25 billion. It will serve as a collaborative platform, bringing together experts from research universities and major chip manufacturers, including Intel Corp, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, and Samsung Electronics. The consolidation of talent and resources is expected to streamline the process of transforming ideas from research institutions into practical tools utilized in chip fabrication, significantly reducing the time required for this transition.

The establishment of the EPIC Center aligns with the United States’ strategic objective of revitalizing advanced semiconductor manufacturing. To support this endeavor, the government passed a $52 billion measure in the previous year. Applied Materials intends to invest in the EPIC Center over a period of seven years and is seeking government subsidies through the CHIPS and Science Act.

Gary Dickerson, the CEO of Applied Materials, expressed confidence in the project’s progression, emphasizing the compelling economic benefits it offers to customers and Applied Materials itself. He stated that the pace of investment would be influenced by government incentives, highlighting the company’s commitment to leveraging the EPIC Center’s potential for advancing technology roadmaps.

The EPIC Center is set to span an area larger than three American football fields. The launch of the facility will be accompanied by an event in Silicon Valley, attended by Vice President Kamala Harris and top executives from major chip companies. The Commerce Department has already received over 300 statements of interest for the $39 billion allocated for manufacturing incentives under the CHIPS Act. Further information regarding the application requirements for the $11 billion earmarked for research facilities will be revealed in the coming months.


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